Top-10 finish for Highgate Harriers in national road relay - now for the London Marathon
Highgate Harriers maintained their place among the top 10 clubs in the nation for cross-country and road racing on Saturday, as the men’s team came ninth in the British 12-Stage Road Relay at Sutton Coldfield.
Highgate were seventh in the national cross-country championships earlier this year, and they enjoyed another successful run in the Midlands at the weekend, coming close to the seventh-place finish they managed in the 1991 competition.
Shaun Dixon led the team off for the first leg – a long stage – and took the side into first place, clocking 24 minutes 54 seconds, before Robel Bahelbi took over and posted 13:18 for the first of the short stages.
Norwegian Audun Nordtveit ran the third leg and took Highgate from fifth to first in 24:48, while team manager Ben Pochee posted 13:43 in his short leg before Danny Russell (25:00) took the Harriers from second place into the lead.
Thereafter, Peter Downie (14:08) was followed by Ben Noad (25:46), Henry Dodwell (14:00), Richard Scott (26:19), Tom Christopher (14:01), Ryan McKinlay (26:14) and Brahma Pochee (13:56).
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The overall time was 3:56:07, while Leeds City won the event in 3:40:41.
Meanwhile, the national six-stage laps for women were all run over the same distance and Highgate came 23rd out of 57 teams.
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Ashley Scott finished in 16:00 and she was followed by her clubmates Becky Penty (16:11), Katie Meredith (16:11), Alexia Trafford (17:06), Sophie Sheldrake (17:23) and Natasha Cendrowicz (19:37) as the Harriers posted a total time of 1:42:28.
A number of Highgate’s members are now preparing for the 34th London Marathon on Sunday.
Roger Low, who has just turned 70 years old, has run in every single London Marathon since it began in 1981 – and he will maintain his remarkable record this weekend.
Only 15 people have run in every London Marathon, including the American Low, who finished in 2:33:47 in 1983 and has run about 100 marathons across the world.
Richard Scott completed the course in 2:22:40 in 2011 and, as he prepares to tackle the streets of the capital again, he said: “ I would love to improve my marathon personal best again. I haven’t had the longest build-up this year; but I hope that I may now be coming into some form.”
Dan Higgins is running in his 10th London Marathon and is aiming for the 2:40:00 mark, while Duncan Burbidge, who was fourth in the Hillingdon half marathon last week and is the current Middlesex Masters cross-country champion, is hoping for a time around 2:37:00.
Marcus Green is targeting 2:45:00, while Mathew Pointon is gunning for 2:36:00, and Wendy Driscoll – the daughter of former Harriers president Terry Driscoll – is taking part, 30 years after watching her father in the event.